Loss of Control: Experiences of Depression in Thai Men
Keywords:Men, masculinity, depression, depressive disorder, Thai
AbstractIn comparison to Thai women, Thai men do not seek care or treatment for depressive symptoms. The literature on men with depression reports that depressive symptoms are viewed as unmasculine. However, little is known about how Thai men experience depression. This qualitative study aimed to understand how Thai men understand having a depressive disorder. Twenty-one male patients were recruited from a psychiatric out-patient clinic and a university hospital in northeastern Thailand. The patients lived with major depressive disorder for at least one year. Data were collected by in-depth interviews and were tape-recorded. Data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed by content analysis. Six themes emerged which were related to masculinity: (a) a loss of control, (b) feeling upside-down, (c) personal weakness, (d) a lack of understanding, (e) social isolation, and (f) a wish to lean on something. The findings are discussed in the context of existing research on depression in men and within the context of masculinity. Recommendations for future research on male depression and implications for clinical practice with men are presented.
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